Sometimes the main enemy is inside the house. The truth is that new Fujifilm X-Pro2 comes to seduce professional and advanced photographers that are looking for a classic design and quality in ASP-C format and to convince them that it is a better option than the traditional reflex, the most economic Lumix DMC-GX8 by Panasonic or the also new Pen-F by Olympus, to name a few examples.
However, if there is a question that during these last few weeks many users interested in the new camera without a mirror have asked, is whether the X-Pro2 is worth it compared to the X-T1. A kind of fraternal dual that can only be resolved in one way: putting one against the other while we keep working on a detailed test if the X-Pro2, which we have already been working with for weeks.
A quick glance is enough to understand that we stand before two models that, in reality, don’t have much in common between them regardless of them sharing a family. It’s not about the design or viewfinder, but also philosophy. Something that is pretty obvious but it’s worth remembering those undecided between these cameras which also claim to be two different worlds: The X-Pro2’s storytelling and the X-T1’s versatile and all-terrain character.
On paper there are also some notable differences: the 24 megapixels of the X-Pro2 against the 16 megapixels of the X-T1, the improved focus system of the new mode, its shutter up to 1/8,000 seconds, double SD card slot and of course the hybrid viewfinder.
Both models feature a sealed and waterproof body, as well as integrated Wi-Fi connection. Despite the differences in forms –the position of the viewfinder marks the character a lot, it is clear-, on paper the weight is very similar, although the X-T1’s ergonomics may possibly convince a larger set of users.
Another two points in favor of the X-T1: it’s battery is better – without being a wonder nor reaching 400 shots – and above all the price turns out to be very competitive right now compared to the 1,699 dollars that the X-Pro2’s body costs. Without a doubt, the rumors that are already beginning to pop up about a future X-T2 requires, that this point is placed between inverted commas, at least for those that are thinking about the camera not only as a tool but as a profitable investment or to be sold at some later time at the best price.
About the X-Pro2.
We all know at this point that few times just the quality of the image by itself justifies the choice of one model or another. It’s about many factors, especially when -like in this case- there isn’t an abyss that allows the balance to be tilt with clarity.
Yes, a whole preview of our conclusion and bad news for those that are waiting for an easy answer pulling out the magnifying glass: the results between both models aren’t that different, or better said, they are not in 90% of situations nor to 90% of users.
But coming back, to all that which goes beyond the quality, it is possible that the hybrid viewfinder of the X-Pro2 – a unique combination between a direct optical viewfinder and an electronic one – is for many a reason more than enough to choose. For others -many others- will be a detail that doesn’t justify the price, or that in any case it doesn’t compensate the loss of the folding screen.
Even though the X-Pro2 is very agile, a great leap is not experienced on ground compared to the X-T1, which was already quite fast. 8 frames per second are maintained, although the buffer and continuous shooting capability is increased.
Regarding the focus, rather than just the number of hybrid points, when it comes to matter, it turns out curious to prove that what’s most noticeable and appreciated is the X-Pro2’s built in joystick, that allows for selecting a focus point in a very simple way. It may seem trivial, but after working with it after many days we would place it among its best proposals.
But beyond this important detail, it’s true that the increase of the X-Pro2’s selectable hybrid points is also noticed, and this improves the agility of the camera in the most complicated situations. In any case, no one should believe that we stand before an action photography camera, because they could end up disappointed.
And the picture quality? We have faced both models in identical situations and with the same lens (23 mm fl.4) shooting in JPEG and RAW in several scenes with different light and lighting conditions. As we always do, there you have the original JPEG and RAW of both models so that magnifying glass loves can spend some time entertained.
The jump from 16 to 24 megapixels in noticeable, although it’s true that there’s no dramatic change in the level of detail. Anyway, that 50% of extra resolution will come in handy when the time comes to make cuts, and in any case it’s welcomed if it doesn’t affect the noise control and the dynamic range, two aspects in which the X-Pro2 improves hand in hand are the new X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro processor.
Which do we choose?
With the results observed, our worst fears are confirmed: it is not an easy choice, the quality of image, despite the differences, doesn’t seem to have a significantly evident jump so as to tip the balance in the X-Pro2’s favor. We insist that we are always thinking about most situations and users.
The readings that support the results are varied, of course. We could say that the X-T1 holds up very well, and for the thousand dollars that the body costs right now (700 dollars less than the X-Pro2) it’s a very logical and reasonable choice.
On the other hand, the X-Pro2 offers a hybrid viewfinder, double memory slot, it’s somewhat more agile, it has an improved focus and above all it manages to raise the resolution 50% with noise levels and dynamic range equal to or better than those of its partner and a better tuned process that respects colors and detail even in very complex conditions.
If someone nevertheless is still looking for a quick and concise answer, so be it: we stick with the X-T1. And with those 700 dollars of difference we would buy a good optics.